Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mapping the Iranian Blogosphere

Erkan Saka directs readers to an interesting report about the Iranian blogosphere published by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. Although written last year, the report, entitled "Mapping Iranʼs Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian Blogosphere" and part of the Center's "Internet and Democracy Case Studies" series, offers some good background on the events taking place now in Iran. From the report (pdf version here):

....the question at hand is not whether the Iranian blogosphere provides a Samizdat to the regime’s Politburo, but whether the new infrastructure of the social nervous system, which is changing politics in the US and around the world, will also change politics in Iran, and perhaps move its hybrid authoritarian/democratic system in a direction that is more liberal in the sense of modes of public discourse, if not necessarily in a direction that is more liberal in the sense of political ideology.

[UPDATE -- The OpenNet Initiative, a project run by the Berkman Center and a few other university-based research centers studying the internet, has just published a new study about internet censorship in Iran. The study is available here.]

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